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American Trails ~ 2006 National Trails Awards Program

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American Trails ~ 2006 National Trails Awards Program Powered By Docstoc
					                 The 2008 National Trails Awards presented by American Trails

                                   NOMINATION FORM
The National Trails Awards Program is one way American Trails recognizes the tremendous
contributions of volunteers, professionals, and other leaders who are working to create a national
system of trails for all Americans.

Please use this form to submit nominations for National Trails Awards, to be announced at the
19th National Trails Symposium Awards Banquet in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 17, 2008.

Nominations should be made for actions that took place during the period between June 1, 2006 –
May 31, 2008. See the American Trails website at www.AmericanTrails.org for previous award
winners. The deadline for submitting nominations is May 31, 2008.

  ~~ Instructions & Award Categories and Criteria can be found at the end of this document ~~

AWARD CATEGORY (please mark an ‘x’ next to one category only)
_____ Lifetime Service Award                 _____ Planning/Design Award
_____ Best Trails State Award                _____ State-of-the-Art Technology Award
_____ Community Service Award                _____ Trails and the Arts Award
_____ Corporate Award                        _____ Trails for Health Award
_____ Outstanding Media Award                _____ Trails Public Service Award
_____ Outstanding Trail Sharing Award        _____ Trail Advocacy Award (1 per State, DC, PR)
_____ Partnership Award                      __X_ Trail Worker Award (1 per State, DC, PR)

NAME OF NOMINEE (person or organization): Jared Ashton
Contact Name (if different than above):

Title: Jeff Gaffney                        Representing: Hollister Hills SVRA

Address: 7800 Cienega Road                 City: Hollister   State: CA      Zip: 95023

Phone: 831-636-5171                       Fax: 831-637-4725

Email: jgaffney@parks.ca.gov              Website: http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/

NOMINATED BY:
Last Name: Glaspie                        First Name: Kenney

Title: Motorized Trails Coordinator       Representing: Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation
                                                        Division Trail Team

Address: 1725 23rd St. Suite 200          City: Sacramento      State: CA     Zip: 95816-7100

Phone: 916-324-1567                        Fax: 916-324-1610

Email: kglas@parks.ca.gov            Website: http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/
              The 2008 National Trails Awards presented by American Trails
                           Trail Worker Award - Jared Ashton
Jared Ashton has worked for California State Parks for thirty-three years. He has
dedicated twenty-six of those years to Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area
(SVRA), a State Park south of San Jose, California. During his tenure at State Parks he
has served as a Park Aide, Lifeguard, Park Ranger, and most recently a Park and
Recreation Specialist. Much of his time at Hollister Hills SVRA was spent on a dirt bike
patrolling the 146 mile trail system set aside for motorcycles, ATVs, and 4-wheel drive
vehicles. Jared has come to know the mountains, valleys, and trails of Hollister Hills
SVRA like few other people ever will. He understands what makes the trails safe, what
makes them fun and, most importantly, how to make them sustainable. Not satisfied with
simply patrolling the trails in his role as a Peace Officer, Jared also learned to operate all
the equipment necessary to build, maintain, and repair these trails. Over the years he
developed an affinity for trail work and found that he enjoyed that aspect of his job more
than any other.
In 2005, Jared retired from his Peace Officer duties and moved with his family to
Tennessee so his wife could purse a career in country music. However, Jared soon
discovered he was not entirely happy with retirement; he felt there was still work to be
done back at Hollister Hills SVRA. During his original tenure there, State Parks had
acquired a 1,500-acre addition to Hollister Hills known as the Renz property. Unlike prior
SVRA acquisitions, this parcel had no pre-existing off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail system.
For many years, it had been Jared’s desire to design a sustainable trail system within the
undeveloped Renz acquisition. After several months of retirement, Jared returned to
California State Parks to work as a part-time retired annuitant to help accomplish this
goal.
Jared soon found that working part time was not getting the job done; more time leading
and working alongside park staff was needed. Commuting between California and
Tennessee resulted in plenty of frequent flyer miles, but the impact to the family budget
was significant. His family encouraged him to follow his dream, so he gave up retirement
completely and returned to work full time. Jared still commutes to Tennessee frequently,
but often sees more of his trail crew than he does his wife and daughter. Since the fall of
2006 he has helped plan, design, and build 26 miles of trail in the Renz property.
Completing the project required enlisting aid from the OHV community, local stakeholder
groups, the environmental community, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, the CA Department of Fish and Game, and many others. Despite many
obstacles, Jared was instrumental in keeping everyone focused and working together.
OHV recreation activities have grown immensely in the past three decades in California,
while acreage available for OHV opportunity has declined. It was very important that this
project address concerns about sound, dust, wildlife and plant species, aesthetics, and
concerns from neighbors. This project presented a unique opportunity to demonstrate
how development of OHV recreation opportunity can be accomplished in keeping with the
highest standards of environmental stewardship.
Jared worked with “Trails Unlimited,” an enterprise team of the U.S. Forest Service, in
constructing the new trail system with these concerns in mind, often incorporating the
land’s natural contours. For instance, the trails were oriented so vehicles’ tailpipes point
away from neighboring properties on hill climbs, which is when vehicles generate the
most noise.
Jared worked with park management to keep the new trails closed for an entire year to let
them to “season in”, which allows the clay soils to achieve optimum compaction and bind
together, thereby minimizing dust. Since conventional out-slope drainage of the trail tread
is too hazardous for OHV use on such slippery clay soils, trail layouts take advantage of
grade reversals into natural topographical drainage features to allow for proper drainage
and erosion management. This concept of designing for hydrologic invisibility, or keeping
water in its natural micro-watershed, is very effective in preventing erosion. An added
bonus of this undulating design is the contribution to the riders’ enjoyment. The trails’
many twists and turns challenge riders of all skill levels, which in turn promotes on-trail
use and discourages user created trails. One-way trails allow for shorter sight lines and
thereby less need to trim vegetation, which is aesthetically pleasing and less intrusive on
the land. Trails were routed around sensitive species, and seasonal gates were installed
to better control trail use during the portion of the species’ life cycle when they are most at
risk.
 During the year the trails were hardening, Jared hired and trained a crew to hand groom
them. The crew also worked on GIS mapping and directional fencing for two years.
Great care was taken in building animal passageways through the fences. Wildlife in the
area can go under, over, around or through the fences without difficulty or stress.
Vegetation was allowed to grow along the verges of the trails, and the crew worked at
disguising the profile left after cutting with trail dozers. During the second year Jared
worked with volunteers to ride the trails on dirt bikes, which gave the appearance of a
hand cut single track trail. These controlled rides on the trail also allowed Jared to correct
any design flaws to improve safety and resource protection.
The Renz property trails were successfully opened to the public on May 3, 2008, and
Jared is continuing to monitor this project for improvements as needed. He recently
became the trail crew leader for the Statewide Trail Team of the Off-Highway Motor
Vehicle Recreation Division of CA State Parks. As riders have begun to the experience
this new trail system, the park has received many positive comments expressing
appreciation for everything from the scenery, to the protection of sensitive resources, to
the technical challenge afforded by the trails. Our goal is to provide a truly interesting and
appropriately challenging riding experience, while at the same time being able to operate
the area to the highest environmental standards. Thanks to Jared’s efforts, we expect the
Renz property trails will serve as a long-lasting model for future motorized trail
development and operation throughout California’s SVRA system.

				
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